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In a situation whereby a company needs to pass on information, it is of great importance to know the audience. This is even more important if the communication involves a disastrous occurrence that may have emotional or psychological effects to the audience. On August 15 2010, thirty workers got trapped under the rabbles of a collapsed Chilean copper mine (New York Times, 2011, par1). The company had then to communicate the devastating news to the families of the trapped workers, the company employees and the rest of the world in a way that did not taint its image. In such situations, considering the needs of the audience is the most important factor in ensuring that the reception of the message is effective and efficient.
Considerations in passing the message
Some of the considerations to remember in passing the communication would be the needs of the audience, their varying emotional states, possible communication barriers, intention of communication and the goals and objectives of the communication. The probable needs of the miner’s families would be to know of the real state of their loved ones and the assurance that the company was doing its best to rescue them. They would also be in need of emotional support in order to be able to cope with the sad news. The potential needs of the company employees would include assurance that the company was doing its best to rescue the trapped workmates, was concerned with the safety of its miners and was ready to help them in any way, be it financial or emotional. Counseling or face-to-face discussion before and after the communication would ensure that the message was received as intended without any bias or distortion.
Communication to the families of the trapped miners would be effectively done face to face to avoid any suspicion of foul play and to convey the message effectively. For the company employees, an internal memo would be appropriate.
Communication to families of trapped miners
The untimely and sad disaster not only affected the miners, but also their families. 33 miners were trapped under the rubbles after the roof of the mine conceded to internal forces and collapsed (Wynne and Rettner, 2010, par1). As a responsible company, it is our responsibility to present accurate information on the events preceding the tragedy and what is being done to rescue the miners. Rescue efforts are underway, and rescuers are on the site working hard to rescue your loved ones who we have confirmed that are still alive. The rescuers plan to drill a hole through which they will pull the miners out, one by one. It will take some time to get the workers out because a lot of drilling through the rubbles is required.
However, the drilling has begun, and the results are very promising. Emergency rations and light sources to eradicate the darkness have been successfully sent to them in the 540 square foot shelter in which they are trapped (Wynne and Rettner, 2010, par5). The good communication between the rescue team and the miners is a sure sign that the mission will be successful, and they will come back safe and in good health. The mine has large reserves of oxygen, and unlike coalmines, does not release methane gas thus reducing the risk of explosion (Wynne and Rettner, 2010, par7). In addition, they are usually damp and as such release water than can provide supplies for drinking. The company gives an assurance that it will do anything necessary to rescue the miners and will ensure that they receive the best health care for quick and full recovery.
Communication to employees
The company assures all employees that their workmates are safe, and rescue efforts are at an advanced stage. This incident has served as a revelation, and the company has established a committee to study and table a report on the safety of all mines. The committee will also present recommendations on how to make mines safer for miners. The miners are our greatest asset, and their safety is our priority. The company in collaboration with the government contacted NASA for directions on how to maintain the mental and physical welfare of the miners (Amidon, 2011, p.33). Ensuring that the stress associated with confinement does not kill the miners is important and one of the goals of the rescue team. The extremely disciplined disposition of the minors has played a major role in speeding up the rescue mission and enhancing communication (Amidon, 2011, p.35). The company assures all that the safety of the miners is priority, and more will be done to improve the safety of our mines. Finally, be assured of the company’s unwavering commitment in ensuring your safety and well-being.
Considering the type of audience is an important factor to put in mind while passing a message, especially if it is of a disastrous nature. It is important to consider the needs of the audience, their varying emotional states, possible communication barriers, intention of the communication and the goals and objectives of the communication. This will ensure that the message is received as intended, devoid of any distortion or bias.
Amidon, M. (2011). Chilean Miner’s Rescue. New York: ABDO Publishers.
New York Times: Chile Mining Accident. (2011). Web.
Wynne, P. and Rettner, R. (2010). Chile Mine Collapses: Facts about the Amazing Survival Story. Web.